Saturday, March 2, 2013

Aesthetic Epistemology

For Christian thought, to the know the world truly is achieved not through a positivistic reconstruction of its "sufficient reason," but through an openness before glory, a willingness to orient one's will toward the light of being, and to receive the world as a gift, in response to which the most fully "adequate" discourse of truth is worship, prayer, and rejoicing. Phrased otherwise, the truth of being is "poetic" before it is "rational" -- indeed is rational precisely as a result of its supreme poetic coherence and richness of detail -- and cannot be truly known if this order is reversed. Beauty is the beginning and end of all true knowledge: really to know anything, one must first love, and having known one must finally delight; only this "corresponds" to the trinitarian love and delight that creates. The truth of being is the whole of being, its event, groundless, and so in its every detail revelatory of the light that grants it. 
David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite, 132

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